Not a Democracy

America needs a better way to elect the president

Trevor Lueck
With the electoral college system, that the founding fathers put in place, certain swing states like Ohio and Florida have control over the election.

The American people don’t elect the President of the United States.

While many people may think that statement is false, it is completely true. Citizens elect the party that will send representatives to vote for the candidate that won the majority of the state. This safeguard is called the electoral college and the amount per each state is calculated by how many representatives and senators each state has in Congress. There are a total of 538 electoral votes that can be cast and a candidate must reach 270 votes to win the presidency.

Surprisingly, this safeguard does not always align the electoral votes with the popular vote of the country. In the 243 years our country has been standing, five presidents, including John Quincy Adams, Donald Trump and George W. Bush, have won office without winning the majority of the countries votes.

That’s the fatal flaw.

In reality the American government isn’t a true democracy. We don’t elect the president. Their goal was to give every state equal representation as well as spreading the vote across the country, but the electoral college gives power to the swing states to basically decide the election, which the founding fathers did not see coming.

Sometimes the system our founding fathers came up with shows flaws hidden within. The founding fathers implemented it so that the people did not have direct control over the presidency. They wanted a safeguard from foreign countries holding sway in the election of the most powerful person in the United States. They also wanted to make sure that the electoral college was not able to be corrupted, so they made sure that each state elected its members and that they would only ever meet once.

In their eyes the American people were not reasonable enough to elect their head of state; and in the age after freeing themselves from the reign of the crown of England, they were very careful to create checks and balances within each and every part of the centralized national government. It was implemented in a time where only white male landowners could even vote for office.

That is not the case anymore.

All American citizens 18 years and older can vote for president, and in this age of technology, people are more informed than ever. Anyone can perform a Google search and using credible sources, form their opinions freely and with the knowledge they need for a decision.

A popular vote would by far be a better way to elect the president. Every other election in America is conducted via popular vote. The people need a direct say in their head of state. Even after the 2016 election, Donald Trump stated, “I would rather see it where you (the country) went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”

This check for the American people is not necessary. The electoral college is an outdated system and does nothing more than minimize the voices of the populus. We were founded on the basis that everyone can have the future they want and when the president is elected with less than 50% of the populations backing.

That’s an issue.  

A country that cannot trust its citizens to elect the face of their nation, has much larger issues that need addressing.